Kris Somerville

Marketing Coordinator

Kris Somerville (M.A., University of Missouri-Columbia) is the Marketing Coordinator for the Missouri Review, a position she has held since 2000.  Her short stories, nonfiction, and prose poems have appeared in a variety of magazines, including the North American ReviewPassages NorthQuarterly West, and New Voices from the Academy of American Poets.  She oversees the Missouri Review’s various promotional efforts, including direct mail, national advertising, fundraising dinners, and charity events.  Somerville also oversees the Missouri Review’s cover design and artwork, and edits the Features section.


34.3 (Fall 2011): "Legacy" [Cover art: Mosh Pit 2000 by Dan Witz]


Oct 09 2011

The Happiness Craze: Books in Search of Bliss

Featuring reviews of:

Happiness: A History, by Darrin M. McMahon. Grove Press, 2006.
Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert. Vintage Books, 2007.
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, by Jonathan Haidt. Basic Books, 2006.
Against Happiness: in Praise of Melancholy, by Eric G. Wilson. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, by Barbara Ehrenreich. Metropolitan Books, 2009.

34.3 (Fall 2011): "Legacy" [Cover art: Mosh Pit 2000 by Dan Witz]


Oct 09 2011

The Urban Canvas and Its Artists

Graffiti is hardwired into society. People have a natural impulse to leave their mark on public property, to tell the world they were here and, perhaps, what they think about it. Historically, graffiti serves many purposes. Victors of war have used it as territorial markers and gangs to stake out their turf. Politicians use it to spread their ideology while subversives use it to talk back to authorities without fear of reproach. Advertisers promote their products and criminals their unlawful services with graffiti. Lovers immortalize their devotion. The dislocated and alienated claim a sense of place. And artists gain a public audience. At its most basic level, graffiti is an affirmation of our own being; it is an announcement that “I was here.”

33.2 Cover

Found Text

Jun 01 2010

Pulling Pranks: James Stern's Reminiscences of an Edwardian Childhood

James Stern never achieved literary celebrity. His books were few, his letters many and his memoir unfinished, yet what he wrote was the stuff of life-the beauty and tragedy of humanity. His memoir, “the problem book,” was not fashioned into a comprehensive work; what we show you from the Stern collection of the British Library are recollections that capture the adventure of childhood set against the backdrop of a mythical time and rarefied place.

32.4 Cover


Dec 01 2009

George Bellows: The Sketch Hunter

Many of Bellows’s friends described him as a man in a hurry. His artistic career bloomed early: at age twenty-six, five years after attending art school under the mentorship of Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Design. At thirty he displayed his paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was elevated by the Academy to full Academician the next year and was considered the country’s most accomplished lithographer-a meteoric rise by most artistic standards.

32.2 Cover


Jun 01 2009

Terrible Beauty: The Visual Poems of Clarence John Laughlin

Before falling for photography, Clarence Laughlin had wanted to be a poet. As a young man he immersed himself in the French symbolists, particularly Baudelaire. Unable to sell his prose poems and wanting to quit his job as a bank teller, he bought an inexpensive camera, built a homemade darkroom and taught himself the fundamentals of photography. His goal was to be the Baudelaire of the camera. He called his early results “visual poems” and meant for the images to be explicated like poetry. For Laughlin, objects possessed an intricate web of psychological associations and a multitude of meanings.

31.4 Cover


Dec 01 2008

Gordon Conway: Poet of Chic

During the height of her career, fashion illustration was dismissed by fine-art elitists as trivial or at best a “Cinderella art.” They claimed that the work did not spring from inspiration but rather from the client’s pocketbook and that it was ephemeral — timely rather than timeless. Yet over the decades the aesthetic beauty of the genre has withstood fine-art scrutiny, and fashion illustration is today recognized for its importance as a historical record of a society and style as well as for its popularity among collectors and connoisseurs.

31.2 Cover


Jun 01 2008

Norman Bel Geddes: A Modernist da Vinci

In 1929 American theatrical and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes drafted “Airliner Number 4,” a plan for a nine-deck amphibian airliner with areas for deck games, shops and salons, an orchestra, a gymnasium and a solarium. He calculated that twenty engines would be needed to achieve cruising altitude. In Horizons (1932), a book on American streamlined design and urban planning, he carefully detailed the airliner’s projected fl ying time and fuel usage, along with the cost of building, equipping, furnishing and operating the plane. To fi nancial backers, the design seemed innovative but extravagant, and it was never built. [2008]

30.4 Cover

Found Text

Dec 01 2007

Laurence Olivier's Letters to Young Actors

Laurence Olivier never wanted to be a matinee idol or a leading man who played only romantic heroes. Yet after back-to-back performances in Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, and Pride and Prejudice in 1939-1940, he was sought after by producers and directors, celebrity magazines and ardent fans. His early roles were classic literary characters. A New York Times reviewer called his portrayal of Heathcliff a case of “a player physically and emotionally ordained for a role.” He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for both Wuthering Heights and Rebecca. Hollywood was sending a rare message: “We want more.”

30.3 Cover (Full Size)


Sep 01 2007

The Satirical Art of George Grosz

Berlin artist George Grosz dressed with an air of art-school irony in a variety of costumes — a cowboy hat and spurs, a powdered face, rouged cheeks and lips and a padded, checkered jacket, or a rakish-looking Fedora and an American gangster-styled suit. But the role the young artist played most often was that of the dandified idler, with spats and walking stick, as he joined fellow artists at Café des Westerns to gossip, debate, play chess and drink coffee and spiked lemonade.